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The Cripple in the mid-day heat
Standing alone, and at his feet
He saw the penny on the ground.

He stopp'd1 and took the penny up:
And when the Cripple nearer drew,
Quoth Andrew, "Under half-a-crown,
What a man finds is all his own,
And so, my Friend, good-day to you."

And hence I said, that Andrew's boys
Will all be train'd to waste and pillage;
And wish'd the press-gang, or the drum
With its tantara sound, would come
And sweep him from the village!




From a MS. book of 1802 in Dorothy Wordsworth s handwriting.
The fragments have been placed in order by Professor Knight,
who printed them in his "Life of Wordsworth," vol. i. pp.
381-388. Although on the MS. book was written "May to
December, 1802," these fragments probably belong to 1800, in
which year
"Michael" was first published.-ED.

THERE is a shapeless crowd of unhewn stones
That lie together, some in heaps, and some
In lines, that seem to keep themselves alive
In the last dotage of a dying form.

At least so seems it to a man who stands
In such a lonely place.

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To lie beside the lonely mountain brooks,
And hear the voices of the winds and flowers.
It befell 10

At the first falling of the autumnal snows,
Old Michael and his son one day went forth
In search of a stray sheep. It was the time
When from the heights our shepherds drive their

1 "Stooped", 1815.-ED.

2" Say," 1815.--ED.

To gather all their mountain family
Into the homestalls, ere they send them back
There to defend themselves the winter long.
Old Michael for this purpose had driven down
His flock into the vale, but as it chanced,


A single sheep was wanting. They had sought 20
The straggler during all the previous day
All over their own pastures, and beyond.
And now at sunrise, sallying forth again,
Far did they go that morning: with their search
Beginning towards the south, where from Dove


(Ill home for bird so gentle), they looked down On Deep-dale head, and Brothers' water (named From those two Brothers that were drowned therein);



Thence northward did they pass by Arthur's seat,
And Fairfield's highest summit, on the right
Leaving St. Sunday's Crag, to Grisdale tarn
They shot, and over that cloud-loving hill,
Seat-Sandal, a fond lover of the clouds;
Thence up Helvellyn, a superior mount,
With prospect underneath of Striding edge,
And Grisdale's houseless vale, along the brink
Of Sheep-cot-cove, and those two other coves,
Huge skeletons of crags which from the coast
Of old Helvellyn spread their arms abroad
And make a stormy harbour for the winds.
Far went these shepherds in their devious quest,
From mountain ridges peeping as they passed
Down into every nook;

and many a sheep
On height or bottom did they see, in flocks
Or single. And although it needs must seem
Hard to believe, yet could they well discern
Even at the utmost distance of two miles,
(Such strength of vision to the shepherd's eye
Doth practice give) that neither in the flocks
Nor in the single sheep was what they sought.
So to Helvellyn's eastern side they went,
Down looking on that hollow, where the pool
Of Thirlmere flashes like a warrior's shield





His light high up among the gloomy rocks,
With sight of now and then a straggling gleam
Of Armath's pleasant fields. And now they came,
To that high spring which bears no human name,
As one unknown by others, aptly called
The fountain of the mists. The father stooped 60
To drink of the clear water, laid himself
Flat on the ground, even as a boy might do,
To drink of the cold well. When in like sort
His son had drunk, the old man said to him
That now he might be proud, for he that day
Had slaked his thirst out of a famous well,
The highest fountain known on British land.
Thence, journeying on a second time, they passed
Those small flat stones, which, ranged by travellers'


In cyphers on Helvellyn's highest ridge,
Lie loose on the bare turf, some half o'ergrown
By the grey moss, but not a single stone
Unsettled by a wanton blow from foot



Of shepherd, man or boy. They have respect
For strangers who have travelled far perhaps, 75
For men who in such places, feeling there

The grandeur of the earth, have left inscribed
Their epitaph, which rain and snow

And the strong wind have reverenced.

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There follows the passage given in the note on " Michael," vol. i. pp. 398, 399, beginning "Though in these occupations they would pass," with a few various readings, and between the line "Conceits, devices," etc. and the last line, "The fancies of a solitary man," the following:

Of alterations human hands might make


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Mines opened, forests planted, and rocks split.

On a latter page of Dorothy Wordsworth's MS. is found the following:

At length the boy

Said, "Father 'tis lost labour; with your leave
I will go back and range a second time


The grounds which we have hunted through before." So saying, homeward, down the hill the boy Sprang like a gust of wind: and with a heart Brimful of glory said within himself,

"I know where I shall find him, though the storm Have driven him twenty miles."


For ye must know that though the storm


Drive one of these poor creatures miles and miles, If he can crawl he will return again

To his own hills, the spots where when a lamb 95 He learned to pasture at his mother's side. Bethinking him of this, again the boy

Pursued his way toward a brook, whose course Was through that unfenced track of mountain


Which to his father's little farm belonged,


The home and ancient birthright of their flock. Down the deep channel of the stream he went, Prying through every nook. Meanwhile the rain Began to fall upon the mountain tops,

Thick storm, and heavy, which for three hours'



Abated not; and all that time the boy
Was busy in his search, until at length
He spied the sheep upon a plot of grass,

An island in the brook. It was a place

Remote and deep, piled round with rocks, where




Of man or beast was seldom used to tread.
But now when everywhere the summer grass
Began to fail, this sheep by hunger pressed
Had left his fellows, made his way alone
To the green plot of pasture in the brook.
Before the boy knew well what he had seen
He leapt upon the island, with proud heart,
And with a shepherd's joy. Immediately
The sheep sprang forward to the further shore,
And was borne headlong by the roaring flood. 120
At this the boy looked round him and his heart

1 The words from "and with a heart" to "For ye must know" are erased in the MS.-ED.

Fainted with fear. Thrice did he turn his face
To either bank, nor could he summon up
The courage that was needful to leap back
'Cross the tempestuous torrent; so he stood
A prisoner on the island, not without



More than one thought of death, and his last hour.
Meantime the father had returned alone
To his own home, and now at the approach
Of evening he went forth to meet his son,
Nor could he guess the cause for which the boy
Had stayed so long. The shepherd took his way
Up his own mountain grounds, where, as he walked
Along the steep that overhung the brook,
He seemed to hear a voice, which was again 135
Repeated, like the whistling of a kite.
At this, not knowing why-as often-times
The old man afterwards was heard to say-


Down to the brook he went, and tracked its course
Upwards among the o'erhanging rocks; nor
Had he gone far ere he espied the boy
Right in the middle of the roaring stream.
Without distress or fear the shepherd heard
The outcry of his son: he stretched his staff
Towards him, bade him leap, which word scarce


The boy was safe.

No doubt if you in terms direct had asked
Whether he loved the mountains, true it is
That with blunt repetition of your words


He might have stared at you, and said that they Were frightful to behold, but had you then Discoursed with him.


Of his own business, and the goings on

Of earth and sky, then truly had you seen
That in his thoughts there were obscurities,


Wonder, and admiration, things that wrought
Not less than a religion of his heart.
And if it was his fortune to converse

With any who could talk of common things
In an unusual way, and give to them


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